I first became a model when I was 14 years old after being discovered in a shopping mall in Illinois during a runway competition. I enjoyed modeling so much I decided to make it a career. The more I got into it, the more I realized how important it was to take care of your body and health. I delved into learning as much as I could about how to create a healthy and fit body. Since I have always been into playing sports, fitness modeling was a natural choice for me.
Mia Ferreri – Fitness Model Statistics
- Name: Mia Ferreri
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 125
- Hair Color: Blond
- Bust: 34C
- Waist: 25
- Hips: 32
- Location: San Diego, CA
- Website: www.miaferreri.com
Mia Ferreri – Fitness Model Interview
What’s your background? How did you get started in the fitness modeling field?
I first became a model when I was 14 years old after being ‘discovered’ in a shopping mall in Illinois during a runway competition. I enjoyed modeling so much I decided to make it a career. The more I got into it, the more I realized how important it was to take care of your body and health. I delved into learning as much as I could about how to create a healthy and fit body. Since I have always been into playing sports, fitness modeling was a natural choice for me.
What is the #1 thing you like best about being into fitness?
One of the best things about being into fitness is all of the wonderful energy that you get from staying in shape. When I say energy, I don’t just mean physical energy, I also am referring to the lively emotional state of mind that you experience. When I don’t work out, I just don’t feel the same. My body feels slower and more tired, and sluggish. Working out and training gives me that Joie de Vivre and the energy to take on the world!
What has been your biggest accomplishment in the fitness field?
My biggest accomplishment in the fitness field is making a living as a full time professional fashion and fitness model. ( www.miaferreri.com) This accomplishment is a series of small victories which are won on a daily basis. The success is a result of all of the choices that I have to make: what to eat, when and how long to work out, what types of exercises to do, what supplements to take, etc. It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to self-improvement and the personal strength to persevere, overcome obstacles, and conquer setbacks.
What is the best way to get started in the fitness modeling industry? Should I just contact the photographers directly or should I use an agency?
There are several schools of thought on this subject. My answer is : the best way is the way that works for you. I would recommend putting as many ‘feelers’ out there as possible. In essence, it is a numbers game. You need to increase your odds of getting in front of the agency/manager/photographer that has a market for your particular look and can get you work. If you are new to the business, it may be wise to hire a personal manager to show you the ropes. Some agencies expect you to know the standards of the industry before they send you out on jobs since their name is attached to your performance.
Please describe a typical day for you. What is your daily routine like?
Typically I get up around 8 a.m. Getting fuel for the day is important to me, so I get out my juicer and blend up a fruit/veggie/protein powder smoothie to get me going. A lot of agents send out work after hours and first thing in the morning, so I check for castings and calls and respond to booking requests. About an hour after I have finished breakfast I usually do some sort of cardio. This gets me pumped for the rest of the day. Photoshoots in the studio and go-see’s are usually scheduled during the day. After I get back home, I head for the gym or do some sort of outdoor workout such as biking, running on the hard sand by the beach, or skating *(yes, I have the old-school rollerskates…great for the legs!) After I eat dinner, I typically do some stretches and if I am feeling super ambitious that day, I’ll use my 8 pound free weights while watching my favorite TV show. For variety, use an exercise ball or do the hula hoop! Make exercise as fun as you can and you’ll want to do it more often.
I don’t have that much time during the day to workout, so I really want to burn major calories in a short amount of time. What is the #1 “bang for the buck” cardio exercise I should do to burn serious calories?
Hands down, THE CROSS TRAINER! Every gym has one, so they are easy to find. If I have a tight schedule, that is the one thing that I will do before everything else. It combines cardio and strength training and works almost every part of your body. Feel the burn baby!
How much weight (pounds) should I focus on losing every week? What is a safe amount to make sure I keep it off?
I would recommend consulting a physician or professional nutritionist. They are qualified to analyze your body type and it’s condition and to make recommendations that are more personalized. As far as keeping weight off, sporadic dieting rarely works. If you are serious about making a change, you must be committed to changing your lifestyle, including throwing out all the old bad habits and replacing them with healthier new ones. Your body will thank you!
What type of food or supplements should I take before and after my workouts to help me see results in gaining lean muscle and losing fat?
One of my favorite supplements is called ‘PUMP TECH’ by Muscle Tech. It is a Nitric Oxide Transducer that claims to create more intense muscular ‘pumps’ by increasing blood flow to the muscles, increases nutrient delivery, and enhances muscle stimulus and recovery. It tastes great, goes down like a fruit drink, and I tend to feel less drained after workouts. My workouts last longer than when I don’t use this. Another supplement I like is about 4-6 ounces of creatine before and/or after workout.
How do you deal with cravings for junk foods, sweets and salty food? I can stay on a diet for maybe a few weeks but I eventually get really bad cravings and binge on snacks and fast foods.
PSST! Here’s my secret…. give in to the cravings, but make healthier choices. Learn to stop thinking of foods as good and bad. Get into a different mindset. By placing junk foods into the ‘temptation’ category you may perhaps be giving them more credit than they deserve. What’s so great about a fatty ice-cream sundae with everything on it? Ask yourself BEFORE you get these types of cravings, “What might be just as tasty?” Here is a suggestion: Granny Smith Apples with Marzetti’s Light Caramel Apple Dip. MMMMMM!
I’m trying to create a healthy shopping list to stick with. What are some of the main foods I should include to maintain a lean and muscular physique?
Proteins and veggies are definitely at the top of my list. I love choosing exotic fruits to keep on hand for an interesting snack. Try going to a fish market and experimenting with different varieties of seafood. Grill it with some lemon and herbs with the veggies of your choice for healthy and delicious fare. Since you are choosing to help create the new healthy you, chose lean, less fattening meats. Stay away from too much red meat. Chicken breasts are always a great source of protein and you can dress them up a million different ways. If you are not a meat eater, try making all kinds of chili’s. Bean will give you the protein you need and you can substitute a variety of different ingredients each time to keep it interesting.
I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I have never started an exercise program and really don’t know where to start. What tips can you give me to get started on the right track?
Always consult a physician before starting any type of drastic weight loss program. If I were to embark on an endeavor to lose 35 pounds, I would start with changing my diet (*See answers to question #7). The less weight you have to carry around on your joints the better. It will be easier on your heart, too. I am a big fan of walking. Start incorporating at least a 30-minute walk once a day into your daily routine. This will get your body used to exercising and you can gradually increase the time, intensity, and speed.
I tend to eat out most of the time and really don’t know what healthy foods to order from the menu. What tips do you recommend for eating out at restaurants to make sure my diet will not suffer?
A friend of mine always tells me to know exactly what I want to eat before going to the restaurant. Most decent restaurants will not mind cooking a simple meal of protein and veggies to order. If they won’t accommodate requests, then look for the little hearts on the heart smart menu. In this health-conscious age, most restaurants will have specific menu items for those who are watching what they eat. Another trick is to ask the waiter to split the entrée and take the other half home. Save your leftovers for your lunch the next day. You will not only be saving on calorie consumption, but on $$$ too!
What exercises do you recommend for getting a bigger, rounder and fuller butt?
There was a point when I was in school when I was spending so much time studying in the library and parked in front of the computer that I felt I was losing that nice ‘shelf’ I had. I wasn’t willing to trade a nice butt for a degree so I decided to do something about it. Biking is a great way to work your glutes. Squats are also a top recommended trick to keeping things tight! Another thing you can do at home in spare time is to start using resistance bands. Again, if you are a couch potato and television devotee, use that time to get into shape.
What is the most challenging thing you deal with about consistently staying in top shape?
Finding time to work out is hard. Life is busy for all of us. There are constantly a million things that we could possibly be doing. But, since we sometimes find it hard to get time, we simply must MAKE time to stay fit. I try to get my workout out of the way in the morning so that I will not be interrupted doing the other things I need to do later on in the day. Then, in the evening, I make some more time to do a different type of workout or to play a sport or at least do something active. Keep that metabolism going.
Please describe your normal diet. What do you eat in a typical day to stay in shape?
- Breakfast: Oatmeal, or Cream of Wheat with Raisins, or Shredded Wheat, with Skim Milk or Egg Whites with Veggies and Low Fat Cheese and Turkey and Salsa (cook with fat-free canola oil spray)
- Mid-Morning Snack: Raw Almonds or Yogurt or Fruit
- Lunch: Seasoned Chicken Breast and brown rice boiled in fat-free chicken broth
- Mid-Afternoon Snack: Baby carrots, apple slices with peanut butter
- Dinner: Baked fish with herb seasoning or Cajun spices/ lemon, dark green salad with fat-free dressing
What type of exercises do you include in your routine to stay in shape?
- Strength Training Exercises: Dumbbells (free-weights), Squats, Lunges, Shoulder presses, tricep extensions
- Cardio Exercises: Biking, Cross-training machine, Running, Jump Rope, Hiking, Rollerblading, Frisbee, Swimming, Aerobics class, Kickboxing
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for developing toned and defined arms?
1. Tricep Pushdowns
2. Reverse Pushdowns
3. Grazing (small meals throughout the day)
4. Bicep curls on incline bench and sitting
5. Overhead tricep extensions with rope or bands and bar
What are your top 5 tips for losing unwanted body fat?
1. Eating small amounts of food frequently (grazing)-this keeps your metabolism going
2. Make sure every meal has all of the macronutrients: proteins, carbs, fats
3. Keep active: weight training and cardio
4. Make exercise FUN so you will do it more often
5. Eat about 25-30 grams of fiber a day. This will keep you from being hungry so often.
What are your top 5 tips for gaining lean muscle mass?
1. Be in a Caloric Surplus
2. Weight Training, 8-12 Reps.
3. Compound Exercises
4. Use heavier weights
5. Consume excess protein
6. Push exercises one day, pull exercises the next, alternating up to 6 days a week in a routine
What are the top 5 tips you recommend for staying motivated on a fitness plan and truly making a healthy lifestyle change?
1. Set Goals. Write them down and keep them visible
2. Celebrate small milestones in diet and exercise routine success
3. Get knowledgeable trainer to help you stay on track
4. Get your family/ significant others involved
5. Talk about your plans to others for accountability
What is your training routine like? (Please include a few details – training split, sets/reps, exercises, types of cardio, etc.)
- Monday: Biking 40-50 minutes, Shoulder press 15-20 reps, front and side arm raises with dumbbells (8 lbs.) 15-20 reps.
- Tuesday: Cross-Trainer 40-50 minutes, Abs (Crunches 5 sets, 10 reps each)
- Wednesday: Running 40-50 minutes, Squats, Bridges, Leg Extensions, Calf Raises,Walking Lunges,
- Thursday: Skating 40-50 minutes, Rowing Machine 10 minutes,
- Friday: Biking 40-50 minutes, Chest exercises and shoulders, Incline Dumbbell presses 15-20 reps
- Saturday: No cardio, Weight training at gym with dumbbells 15-20 reps: Tricep pushdown, Reverse Tricep Pushdowns, Cable rope Overhead Extensions, Abs (crunches) 3 sets of 20
- Sunday: Walking, 60 minutes in the morning or evening, Group Sports
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for losing fat around the stomach and developing a toned and defined midsection?
1. Trunk Twists *most gyms have a weighted machine for this
2. Cardio Kickboxing/ or Core Training classes
3. Ab Crunches and Oblique crunches
4. Low-Fat Diet
5. Cardio-rich workout plan
What are the top 5 tips (specific exercises, diet advice, etc) you recommend for toning the thighs, hips and butt?
1. In-place Lunges (alternating)
2. Side Lunges, Lying leg curls, Seated Leg Curls
3. Mountain Climbers
4. Single-leg Bridges
5. Jumping Jacks